Coming out is different for everyone.
For me, it was easier the second time.
The first, of course, was my transition. And like many who transition, there was something about my sexuality that turned upside down.
Whether they go from being considered straight to being gay — or vice versa — their attractions rarely change just because they look a little different on the outside.
That’s why, when it comes up that you’re trans in a conversation, curious listeners very quickly divert the topic towards the inevitable question: “Do you like men or women?”
But for many once-closeted transgender bisexuals, including myself, we become the exception.
There’s something about transitioning that gives you a look into the human soul, as well as what makes up gender from head to toe.
You look at how women and men behave in different cultures, and you realize that there is not always a clear line. Masculinity and femininity have definitions that change across borders, over time, and even between households.
You’re faced with science, how diverse the physical body is, and how science has allowed us a phenomenal way to morph into something far more comfortable.
Yet, as a trans person, you also look at yourself and the other trans people you meet, and are faced with another realization.
If you aren’t able to respect other trans people as their gender, no matter how intimately, how can you expect others to show that level of respect towards you?
How, in good faith, can you refuse to view a pre-operative trans woman as a female from head to toe, then expect others to make an exception for you?
As such, many trans people have a sort of self-reflective epitome when they must either open their minds or risk losing them.
It’s not a far jump from there to come out as bisexual, like I finally did.
To be honest, I’ll admit that it was almost boring to come out as bisexual after going through the chaos of changing my gender, name, entire wardrobe and even the way I speak. Something that used to seem so frightening was reduced to only a word … all I had to do was say it out loud.
I could have conceivably come out as bisexual a decade before my transition, considering the number of times my heart fluttered next to other women. But there was always a fear of taking things a step further, as well as little fallacies stuck in my head (for example, “I don’t think that ugly girl in math class is hot, but I sure do wanna smash that sexy young man on the hockey team … therefore, I must not like women.”)
The denial of my own bi-curiosity, combined with the finishing blow of fearing that I wouldn’t know what to do with another girl in a same-sex relationship, ultimately kept me from making any real moves.
But once I came out as trans, the fear was dissipated.
I look beyond the bedroom and am swallowed by genuine lust towards the essence of men and women (and anyone else), regardless of what’s hidden beneath their briefs.
My only requirement now is that they look beyond what’s in mine.
Of course, my experience is not reflected throughout the trans community.
Just as bisexuality is valid, so is being gay and (I suppose) straight … in other words, there will always be trans people exclusively attracted to women, no matter what their own experience is.
But a quick scroll through my google search history would show you that’s not me.
Unfortunately, some trans people struggle — and will perhaps always struggle — with a more classic binary notion of gender, a hard struggle indeed when that binary is sometimes so difficult to achieve.
As such, I’m sure there are many bisexual trans men and women who will never have a moment like mine that encourages them to come out.
But I would wager that the odds are much higher for us.
This is a part of our Bisexual Visibility Week special package. Check out sfgn.com/2017biissuedaily for new stories.